IMPACS Re­port: Who is Say­ing What

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Op­po­si­tion Leader: PM’s Speech “Wholly Ir­re­spon­si­ble!”

Dr. Gale Rigob­ert the leader of the op­po­si­tion has de­scribed the prime min­is­ter’s speech as “wholly ir­re­spon­si­ble and lack­ing wis­dom.” In a state­ment to the me­dia she said the prime min­is­ter has com­pro­mised the na­tional se­cu­rity of the state and has threat­ened the chance of re­al­iz­ing the very jus­tice that we would all like to see. “The Prime Min­is­ter should have sent the re­port to the DPP with­out com­ment,” Dr. Rigob­ert said. She has also urged that a copy of the re­port be made avail­able to her and mem­bers of Par­lia­ment for care­ful re­view with­out de­lay.

Press Sec­re­tary of The Prime Min­is­ter Re­sponds to Rigob­ert

In a Press State­ment on Tues­day March 10, Ja­dia JnPierre Eman­nuel, the prime min­is­ter’s press sec­re­tary stated that it is not a time for pol­i­tics. She noted, “The Leader of the Op­po­si­tion, Hon. Gale Rigob­ert ac­cused the Prime Min­is­ter of ‘dam­ag­ing the morale of the Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force’.”

Ac­cord­ing to Eman­nuel, Rigob­ert says, in a com­plete 360 from her ear­lier ut­ter­ances, that the prime min­is­ter should have sent the re­port to the DPP with­out com­ment. “It is un­be­liev­able that some­one who ear­lier called for the re­lease of the re­port would make such state­ments,” the press sec­re­tary said. “Fur­ther, in a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view with HTS News on Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 4, 2015, Dr. Gale Rigob­ert re­quested the re­lease of the IMPACS re­port and ex­pressed the fol­low­ing: ‘It will help to lift the dark cloud that hangs over heads of men and women of the Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force, per­sons af­fected and the na­tion at large’.

“The Op­po­si­tion Leader went on to say that the re­port has im­pli­ca­tions for all cit­i­zens and the RSLPF as it con­tin­ues to pro­vide se­cu­rity to the peo­ple of the coun­try and so the time has come to make the find­ings public.

“It is time that Dr. Rigob­ert ends her vac­il­la­tion, waf­fling from one is­sue to the next. She must let the cit­i­zens of the coun­try know where she re­ally stands on ma­jor is­sues. The Gov­ern­ment of Saint Lu­cia warns the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion to stay away from politi­ciz­ing the is­sues con­tained in the re­port,” the press state­ment ended by say­ing. Cas­tries Cen­tral MP Ques­tions Cred­i­bil­ity of Re­port on Po­lice Killings Cana - Cas­tries Cen­tral MP and for­mer Hous­ing Min­is­ter, Richard Fred­er­ick has raised ques­tions about a damn­ing re­port com­piled by mem­bers of the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force(JCF) who in­ves­ti­gated al­le­ga­tions of ex­tra ju­di­cial killings by mem­bers of the Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force.

“I am not sure that the ex­er­cise was worth­while be­cause what the re­port con­tains is es­sen­tially per­sons speak­ing out of emo­tion and the ve­rac­ity of what they said was never tried or tested through cross ex­am­i­na­tion,” Fred­er­ick told the Times.

As far as he is con­cerned, that raises ques­tions of cred­i­bil­ity es­pe­cially when the per­sons giv­ing tes­ti­mony are re­lated to the in­di­vid­u­als who met their demise.

Fred­er­ick, an At­tor­ney at Law by pro­fes­sion, also took is­sue with Prime Min­is­ter Doc­tor Kenny An­thony’s an­nounce­ment to the na­tion on Sun­day that the re­port of the Ja­maican in­ves­ti­ga­tors would be passed on to the DPP to de­ter­mine the way for­ward.

“It is not a sit­u­a­tion where the DPP can do what she pleases given the fact that in some in­stances a court of com­pe­tent ju­ris­dic­tion has al­ready handed down find­ings re­gard­ing the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion or lack thereof for the killings,” the Cas­tries Cen­tral MP said. He noted that once the court has ruled, the DPP can­not then pro­ceed to in­ves­ti­gate crim­i­nal li­a­bil­ity.

King De­nies In­volve­ment

CMC - For­mer Prime Min­is­ter Stephen­son King has de­nied claims of be­ing di­rectly in­volved in the ex­e­cu­tion of Op­er­a­tion Re­store Con­fi­dence or giv­ing po­lice in­struc­tions to use their firearms in an ef­fort to bring a spate of crime un­der con­trol. King told re­porters that Op­er­a­tion Re­store Con­fi­dence was in­tended to pro­vide in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and to co­op­er­ate with the public to sup­press crime.

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Ver­non Fran­cois says, “My Con­science is Clear”

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Ver­non Fran­cois has de­nied re­ports that he may have turned a blind eye to wrong­do­ing by his of­fi­cers dur­ing Op­er­a­tion Re­store Con­fi­dence.

Fran­cois has said that he jeal­ously guards his in­tegrity and is not in­volved in any­thing re­motely cor­rupt or un­law­ful. With re­gard to the re­port Fran­cois said, “I was hop­ing that we would have been at the stage where de­fin­i­tive state­ments would have been made about deal­ing with the sit­u­a­tion as it re­lates to the gov­ern­ment of Saint Lu­cia and the United States, but we are still at the stage where a lot of un­proven al­le­ga­tions are be­ing made.” Ac­cord­ing to Fran­cois, there was need to move be­yond the stage where peo­ple are still “stay­ing in the dark un­der the bushes” and mak­ing al­le­ga­tions. “It is time to pro­vide ev­i­dence and there is the need for the laws of nat­u­ral jus­tice to be set in mo­tion,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Fran­cois, his con­science is clear.

Mary Fran­cis: “I am Dis­ap­pointed”

At­tor­ney and hu­man rights ac­tivist Mary Fran­cis has called for a full dis­clo­sure of the Caricom IMPACS Re­port which con­tains in­for­ma­tion about the al­leged 2010-2011 po­lice killings. She has also ex­pressed her dis­ap­point­ment with the prime min­is­ter’s ad­dress on Sun­day. “I am not happy with the state of af­fairs and the fact that the re­port will re­main a clas­si­fied doc­u­ment,” Fran­cis said. “The re­port should be able to say who was be­hind the whole idea Op­er­a­tion Re­store Con­fi­dence,” she fur­ther stated.

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